It’s been around 1-1.5 years since I’ve done Teshuvah. I used to do Zerah Levatalah and Baruch HaShem that is no longer the case. Ever since I read in the kitzur Shulchan Aruch that a chazan must be praiseworthy I have stopped being chazan (except in a case of need). I used to be chazan once in a while. I also remember reading in an article that according to the Zohar HaKadosh, Zerah Levatalah has no Teshuvah. Does this mean I can’t be a Chazan for the rest of my life?
Thank you very much,
You can continue being a chazal. I think that you are VERY praiseworthy. If you managed to do teshuva, and gain self-control over yourself and your desires, Hashem loves you (even more than He did before). As the זוהר says, that Baalei Teshuva attain a place in Olam Haba that is even higher than the tzaddikim, (see sources).
Regarding the article that you read which quotes a Zohar, the Shela Hakadosh addresses this Zohar, and he explains it, and what comes out is that a person indeed could do teshuva for this Aveiro. Additionally, the halacha is like the Rambam, and the Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva -4 talks about all the aveiros that it is hard to do teshuva for them, and this is not on the list. Obviously the Rambam rules that one can do teshuva for this Aveiro.
It is important to know that the yetzer hora plays this trick on us, and unfortunately he catches a lot of people with this trick. He gets the person to do an Aveiro, and then after he got him, the yetzer hora, switches gear, and becomes really frum on us, telling us that we sinned so badly, that now were finished… And with this trick he gets people to think, if I am a rasha in any case, so might as well continue… However, the truth is that no matter what the Aveiro is, a person can do teshuva, just like you did, and Hashem will accept his Teshuva.
Therefore, you can serve as a chazzan, and the main thing is that once you have done teshuva, don’t get bogged down with thoughts of the past, as for you it is yetzer hora. Now you are different, and keep on growing.
As a side point the AriZal writes that a person who spends him time learning torah, the torah is a kapara for ALL of his aveiros, even the ones that one would have to bring a korban for them. (As a side point the torah is compared to a fire, which when a person is involved in learning, it is like a fire that kashers out his neshoma from all of his aveiros. This is especially true especially if the person sweats while exerting himself on concentrating and working in torah.
זהר חיי שרה קבב “ר’ יוסי אמר למדנו במקום שבעלי תשובה עומדים בו באותו העולם אין לצדיקים גמורים רשות לעמוד בו משום שהם קרובים אל המלך יותר מכולם והם מושכים השפע מלמעלה עם יותר כונת הלב ועם כח גדול ביותר להתקרב אל “. של”ה הקדוש שער האותיות (הובא בס’ אספקלריא חכ”ט עמ’ 589) “הרי שאין דבר בעולם עומד בפני התשובה ואם כן איך אמר הזוהר דאין לחטא הזה תשובה? ועוד כי זה החטא הוא חטא דור המבול שהשחיתו דרכם בהשחתת זרע לבטלה ועל כל זאת רצה הקב”ה שיעשו תשובה וימחול להם כמו שכתב רש”י ריש פרשת נח שעל כן הטריחו ק”ך שנה בבנין זה?” וע”ש שמביא כמה ת’ והסברם לזה ואכמ”ל.